How to Brew a Low Carb Beer?
As you already know, it is time to ring in the new year and I do not know about the rest of you, but I am happy to wave “bye, bye” to 2020! Along with hopes for a happier year going forward, many beer drinkers and non-beer drinkers alike, take the start of the new year as an opportunity to set resolutions that might help improve their health or even cause them to lose a few pounds. So, the question might be “how does a homebrewer make beer with less of a dietary impact?”. Luckily, that question has an answer, and that answer is “enzymes”. Did you know at Mr. Beer we have recipes that help to easily harness the power of enzymes? More about that later though.
What is an enzyme, anyway? To put it broadly and simply, an enzyme is a substance that acts as a catalyst to bring about a specific biochemical reaction. The enzymes that we typically find/use in brewing generally come from the yeast, but they can also be added as a supplement to your wort. You may already be aware that enzymes make the process of the yeast turning sugar into alcohol, possible. Enzymes help to break down carbohydrates, both simple and complex so that the yeast cells can consume and convert them into alcohol. Depending on the Different types and quantities of malt sugars your wort contains, your yeast generally produces enough of its own enzymes during the fermentation process to ferment and convert an acceptable amount of the more complex wort sugars to not only create alcohol but leave enough behind to still maintain a good body, mouthfeel and foam stability.
We know that a large majority of malt sugars generally ferment into alcohol… so what happens to those more stubborn carbohydrates that the yeast cannot manage to break down and ferment using its own enzymes? You end up consuming them, and they might end up contributing to some extra “thump in your bump” if you know what I mean. Do not worry though, because we have access to easy to find, easy to use, enzymes. You may be thinking “Great, now I have to track down some fancy brewing enzymes?!” Well, breathe a sigh of relief, because in most cases, you are a couple of “Beano” tablets away from your own “low-carb”, homebrewed beer! Yes, I said Beano…The stuff you take when that extra serving of frijoles threatens to turn you into a human fan-boat… You catch my drift. Believe it or not, Beano contains just the right spectrum of enzymes to rip apart those more complex Carbohydrates and turn them into sugars that can be converted to ethanol; that means you end up consuming fewer carbs and just a little more alcohol. This means you might be able to keep your beer AND your health resolutions… WIN. WIN.
The even better news about all this, is my good friend, co-worker, and Brewmaster-Maximus, has already developed 3 recipes using those handy-dandy Beano tablets to get you started. Check them out for yourself. We call them our “Work out” recipes and you can find them here: Search results for: 'workout' | Mr. Beer. Unlike most commercially available low-carb beers, these recipes are full of flavor but still short on unwanted carbohydrates. All of this is made possible by our little drug store enzyme hero, “Beano”. With low-carb diets, all the rage right now, isn’t great to know you could still work your homebrew into them?
Even though we have already designed a few low-carb specific recipes, pretty much any of our refills and even some of the regular recipes can have Beano added to them to lower the carbohydrate content! We recommend experimenting to see what results you can get using this method! All this being said, keep in mind that in “normal” beer, the stuff that gives beer “body” and “sweetness” is also the same stuff that your Beano enzymes are dismantling for consumption, so expect a “drier” result. I find this method works especially well to create, those coveted “crispy, dry lagers” that go down “really easy” but try it for yourself and let us know what you get!
So now that you know that healthy goals AND homebrew can in-fact exist together, don’t you feel better? I know I do! After all, isn’t it just a little easier to stick with things when you can have a guilt-free treat? The best question now is, “what are you waiting for?”. Head to your medicine cabinet or your local drug store and get yourself some Beano and have a low-carb, brew-bonanza of your own! Happy New Beers!
Bottoms up, Brewers! CHEERS!